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  • What kinds of issues can you help me with?
    I treat all forms of anxiety, depression, relationship issues and major life events. Think of me as a family doctor, but for psychological issues. As a clinical psychologist I treat a very full range of life and relationship issues, marriage/divorce, trauma, grief and loss, parent and child problems. If you have a unique problem that I do not have much expertise in, I will help you find the right practitioner. For most people, several issues are linked together and need to be treated all together. These can include addictions, family issues, relationship problems, past traumas or abuse you may have experienced, major life transitions, health challenges and career issues. "Depression and anxiety" are the basic signs of mental distress. They take different forms depending on the person, as each person is unique. I can help you understand what form you are suffering and what can be done to find relief.
  • Why didn't therapy work for me in the past?
    Many people are just not getting genuine, high quality psychotherapy. Quite frequently, patients tell me their therapist 1) just listened and didn't offer much insight or challenge; 2) began to talk casually with them like a friend; or 3) they were given CBT techniques that did not heal their deeper emotional issues. Instead of offering casual "counseling" or CBT tips and tricks, I offer the kind of in-depth, psychodynamic therapy that creates lasting healing. Research backs this up. Our thoughts are complex and so are our emotions. They require a compassionate, depth perspective, rather than treating people as though they are just a collection of bad thoughts and good thoughts to be switched as needed. As a psychologist I am trained to facilitate your growth and healing at a deeper level.
  • What makes psychotherapy effective?
    There are a few powerful keys to therapy that make it so transformative. The first factor is that you are receiving personal, empathic connection in a confidential setting, with a professional who knows how to give you the space and time you need. This allows thoughts to flow and feelings to release. The second factor is the clinical perspective and diagnostic skill that my training and experience provides. I use systematic thinking to figure out what is going on inside a person and their life. A third factor is the unique personality and experience of the psychologist, and how that matches up with the needs of the client.
  • How can I set up an appointment?
    Just call or email me today, and I will contact you within a day to discuss your concerns and schedule a time for us to meet.
  • What will the first session be like?
    Don't worry - I will guide the conversation so you don't have to wonder what to say. Most clients feel energized, relieved and hopeful after the first session. I think you’ll find it's a very relaxed and comfortable conversation. You'll receive many new insights and get a solid sense of how I can help you. First, I will ask some key questions and give you plenty of time to describe what you are going through. I’ll also want to know what made you seek out help, what your life is like lately, and get a general sense of your history. Then I'll share with you what our basic goals might be, some preliminary thoughts about your situation, and how long the process may take.
  • Do you take insurance?
    Most of my patients pay out of pocket, but I now take a limited number of patients with insurance. Please contact me to discuss options.
  • How frequent are the sessions we will have?
    Generally I see people once per week. Some patients come twice weekly, because they are in crisis or their problems need more attention. As our work together proceeds, your needs may change and we can adjust the schedule to suit you.
  • How long will it take for me to feel better and solve my problems?
    After the first session, you will feel deeply heard and will have some new insights to move forward with. As you can guess, the time depends on how deep the problem goes and how many issues you need to work on. For some people, a few sessions is enough to resolve a decision or question. For others, working together over a several months is necessary - and life-changing. Almost all of my patients go from feeling stuck and confused about the nature of their problems, to having an empowered sense of clarity, support and courage to move forward. I can assure you that I regularly get very positive results with most of my patients. A lot depends on your readiness to grow and change.
  • Do I pay you just to listen to me tell my story?
    No - we will do far more than that. I often hear that "My former therapist let me talk and talk, but nothing changed." That is unfortunate. Therapy should feel engaging and productive. Each session will be a little different but generally a psychotherapist should alternate between careful listening and thoughtful reflections. There are many aspects of our personality type, our history and belief systems that need to be accurately assessed and understood for therapy to be effective. Just listening is not enough. A good psychotherapist must be able to challenge their patients and bring original thinking and wisdom to bear upon many life situations. At no time do I allow a struggling patient to just spend the time venting and not finding solutions together. We all need to vent - a little - but then it's time to gain insight and find solutions. I will pay careful attention to make sure our discussion is productive. ​ Effective therapy provides deep listening as well as an action-oriented approach. Half of healing comes from feeling things through and finding insight. The other half comes from doing things differently - now.
  • Don't you need your patients to keep coming to therapy in order to make a living - so why would you want to cure them?
    In my case, I do not practice psychotherapy in order to make a living. I do this because it is my calling and I enjoy it. I never want to be bored in my work. I am fulfilled and happy when I see my patients growing, feeling empowered and moving on with their lives. I don't want people lingering in therapy any longer than they need. That would be very boring for both of us. I want people feeling much better and moving on when it is time. For some, that happens after a few weeks or months. For others, they really benefit from long-term therapy. There is always a steady stream of people needing help, and I make sure that my case load is moderate so that my patients get the best care from me.
  • There seems to be many forms of therapy. How do I know which one is right for me?
    Today there is a lot of confusion about what psychotherapy is. New graduates often claim to use 5 or even 10 different "approaches" that they will "tailor" to your needs. This is largely a myth. The truth is that therapy divides more basically into 1) Psychodynamic "depth" work, and 2) the more cognitive-behavioral "symptom management" approaches. I practice - and strongly favor - the psychodynamic approach. The psychodynamic, relational approach is the gold standard for psychotherapy. It is shown to create more lasting results. This requires more training, which a Doctoral or PsyD program will provide. I do not believe that everyone needs a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in order to practice effective psychodynamic therapy. But I do believe that training in the time-tested principles of psychodynamic therapy is vital for becoming a more effective therapist. There is also the question of how much personal development and consciousness the person has gained. In addition to my doctoral training as a psychologist, I have been deeply engaged in developing higher consciousness and self-actualization. For that reason, I bring a strong sense of confidence and inspiration to my work with patients.
  • I am worried that you won't accept or agree with my political views.
    In short, psychotherapy is not a politically correct space. It is a place for open inquiry into everything. I dislike all forms of political correctness, which imply that there is only one right way to think or feel, for any particular group of people -- and that we must use either official or social censorship to "make people think the right things." I do not expect any of my patients to think, feel or act a certain way based on their ethnic or cultural background. Each person is unique and must be treated as such. In psychotherapy, all of your views, values, thoughts and feelings are open for discussion. I keep my own views out of the discussion unless it pertains to the field of psychology and is relevant to your treatment. I strongly support your freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and your freedom to explore all aspects of who you are in the therapy room. I will never shame, censor or criticize a patient for their views, even if I disagree with them. Even if a patient said to me, "I find myself disliking XYZ group of people" then we would explore what those feelings are about. I would not assume that this means you are a bad person. We all have negative feelings, biases and preferences to sort out.
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